Bryn Terfel

Composers

Biography

Born: Nov 9, 1965; Wales  
The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel rose with astonishing speed to the top ranks of international operatic stardom in the 1990s. He is known for a big, warm voice, intelligent and dramatically apt portrayals, a six-foot-three-inch frame and those intangibles that add up to star presence.

He was born Bryn Terfel Jones and was brought up in a small village near Snowdonia, speaking Welsh. Even as a small child he was busy singing; he went to Read more various eisteddfods (singing competitions) throughout Wales, his supportive mother, Nesta, chauffeuring him around. He used the money he won to buy soccer shoes. The eisteddfods taught him to face the stage calmly. "When I went to college I was streets ahead of others because I was used to facing the public," he says. He was awarded a scholarship when he applied to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers there were Arthur Reckless and Rudolf Piernay. Since there was already a professional singer named Bryn Jones, he adopted his middle name, for his stage billing.

He won two of the main prizes for Guildhall singers: the Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship in 1988 and the 1989 Gold Medal Award. Also in 1989, he won the Lieder Prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and second prize all-around in that competition. This competition is broadcast Europe-wide, and he immediately began getting requests to sing from the leading conductors. Sir Georg Solti called him "one of the great talents of the last ten years."

Although he got offers for all sorts of repertory, he weighed them with care, with a view to preserving the voice through a long career. Although he was already being offered the role of Wotan in three of Wagner's Ring operas, he started singing such roles as Figaro, and Leporello (lighter and more lyrical roles) and Jokanaan in Strauss' Salome (a heavier, though still lyrical, one, but relatively short). He edged into Wagnerian territory in the lyrical part of Wolfram in Tannhäusser, a part known for the lovely "Song to the Evening Star." In 1992, he won the Gramophone Magazine "Young Singer of the Year" citation and the "Newcomer of the Year" award at the inaugural International Classical Music Awards in 1993.

He has added Dr. Miracle and Captain Balstrode (Britten's Peter Grimes) to his roles, moved over from Leporello to Don Giovanni, sung Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, and has triumphed in Verdi's Falstaff, which he plays with notable humanity and restraint; his Falstaff is a braggart who overrates himself, but not the buffoon some other singers make him. He also sings the evil Scarpia in Tosca.

He is active on the recital and concert stage. Mendelssohn's Elijah is one of his mainstays. Songs of Handel, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, and Richard Rodgers figure in his recitals and recordings.

He remains a passionate fan of football (both soccer and rugby) and enjoys opening major international matches such as the Bledisloe Cup in Australia. When the Rugby World Cup was held in Cardiff, Wales, he opened it with a memorable duet with pop singing star Shirley Bassey of the Rugby theme song, "World In Union."

In 1999, the small Welsh island of Bardsey revived an ancient tradition (which died out in 1927) by inviting Terfel to become their honorary monarch. Even though he has conquered the world of opera -- even overcoming the dismal acoustics of the Sydney Opera House -- he remains centered on Wales, where, whenever he can, he still helps his father with the farming chores. Read less

Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust / Terfel, Mattila, Abbado
Release Date: 02/28/1995   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 66308   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 76-100 of 205 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Ireland: Sea Fever, The Vagabond; Rubbra, Quilter / Terfel, Ferrier
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470195 Release Date: 10/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Quilter,  Traditional,  Edmund Rubbra,  John Ireland
    Performer:  Ernest Lush,  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr  ... 
    Conductor:  Elgar Howarth,  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 77.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 78.
    Mozart: Operas - Excerpts / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 449938 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Stanford Olsen,  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Bryn Terfel,  Alison Hagley  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 79.
    Danielle de Niese - The Mozart Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001327702 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Danielle De Niese,  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
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  • 80.
    Divos & Divas
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001305902 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Olga Borodina,  Nicole Cabell,  Anna Netrebko  ... 
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel,  Sir Georg Solti,  Carlo Rizzi,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Welsh National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 81.
    Waldbuhne Concert - Italian Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4521 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Sergei Larin,  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Phlharmonic
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  • 82.
    Verdi: Falstaff / Haitink, Terfel, Frittoli
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 823 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Barbara Frittoli
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Opera 2009 / Pavarotti, Callas, Domingo, Brightman, Villazon, Gheorghiu, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64192 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Jacques Offenbach,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Naouri,  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza,  Sarah Brightman  ... 
    Conductor:  Emmanuelle Haďm,  Michael Plasson,  Michel Plasson,  Paul Bateman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert D'Astrée,  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 84.
    Handel Gold - Bartoli, Fleming, Kozena, Terfel, Villazon, Te Kanawa, Sutherland, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280102 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Cecilia Bartoli,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Rose,  Marc Minkowski,  Marcello Viotti,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan  ... 
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  • 85.
    20 Years BBC Singer Of The World In Cardiff
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 0881 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  Marius Brenciu,  Anja Harteros,  Guang Yang,  Inger Dam-Jensen  ... 
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  • 86.
    Caro Amor
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 746075 Release Date: 02/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Laurence Cummings,  Angelika [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Kirchschlager,  Vesselina Kasarova,  Lawrence Zazzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Alan Curtis,  Harry Bicket,  Paul Goodwin,  Mark Stephenson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Complesso Barocco,  London Musici Chamber Choir,  Hanover Band
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  • 87.
    Classical Love Songs / Domingo, Pavarotti, Netrebko, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001247302 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Marilyn Horne,  Rolando Villazón,  Anna Netrebko  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  James Levine,  Daniele Callegari,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Metropolitan Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan  ... 
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  • 88.
    Christmas Round The World - Bach, Nordqvist, Kim, Etc / Alagna, Pavarotti, Heifetz, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001230802 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Jacob Niles,  George Frideric Handel,  Jan Jakub Ryba,  William Garnet James  ... 
    Performer:  Magdalena Kozená,  David Miller,  Chango Farias Gomez,  Narciso Yepes  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Westenburg,  Paul McCreesh,  Robert Hugo,  Anthony Walker  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra,  Gabrieli Players,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
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  • 89.
    Opera & Ballet Highlights [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7000 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Performer:  José Cura,  Cecilia Bartoli,  Bryn Terfel,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $9.99
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  • 90.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Östman, Drottningholm Court Theatre C & O Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470059 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Arleen Augér,  Kristinn Sigmundsson,  Nico Van der Meel  ... 
    Conductor:  Arnold Östman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus,  Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Last Night Of The Proms - The 100th Season
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4388 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Minoru Miki,  Paul Creston,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Evelyn Glennie,  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 92.
    Cecilia & Bryn At Glyndebourne - Arias & Duets
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 840 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Cecilia Bartoli
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 93.
    Cecilia & Bryn At Glyndebourne - Arias & Duets [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7005 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Cecilia Bartoli
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 94.
    Gilbert & Sullivan: The Yeomen Of The Guard / Marriner
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 438138 Release Date: 07/23/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Jean Rigby,  Sylvia McNair,  Thomas Allen,  Neil Mackie  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 95.
    Claudio Abbado & The Berlin Philharmonic Vol 3
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 732537 Release Date: 07/01/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Midori,  Murray Perahia,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Iris Vermillion  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 96.
    Vaughan Williams: Choral Works / Best, Corydon Singers
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 44321 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Roger Judd,  Richard Pasco,  Ursula Howells,  John Gielgud  ... 
    Conductor:  Matthew Best
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corydon Singers,  City of London Sinfonia,  Corydon Orchestra  ... 
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  • 97.
    Wagner-Gala / Abbado, Studer, Meier, Jerusalem, Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439768 Release Date: 06/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Cheryl Studer,  Bryn Terfel,  Waltraud Meier,  Siegfried Jerusalem
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Coleridge-Taylor: Hiawatha / Alwyn, Field, Davies, Terfel
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430356 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
    Performer:  Helen Field,  Arthur Davies,  Bryn Terfel
    Conductor:  Kenneth Alwyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Welsh National Opera Orchestra,  Welsh National Opera Chorus
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  • 99.
    40 Most Beautiful Arias - Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447164 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Hei-Kyung Hong,  Jennifer Larmore,  Maria Callas,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Maurizio Barbacini,  Marcello Viotti,  Carlo Rizzi  ... 
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  • 100.
    Andrew Lloyd Weber - A Classical Tribute
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001090902 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  Barbara Thompson,  David Cullen,  Paul Keogh  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Paul Gemignani,  Paul Bateman,  Anthony Inglis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Welsh National Opera Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Pops Orchestra  ... 
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